Featuring sweeping beach shots and expansive estuary settings as well as historic buildings and charming terraced streets, the show’s aesthetic is as compelling as its plotlines.
The first eight-part series gradually reveals the story of Faith Howells - played by Eve Myles – and her family. A lawyer, wife and mother, she strives to find the truth behind the sudden disappearance of her husband. Initially aired in the Welsh language on S4C, the gripping show was later screened on BBC One Wales, before being released for international viewing on BBC iPlayer. Every scene was filmed back to back in both English and Welsh to fulfil both channels, which is even more of an impressive feat when you consider Eve Myles didn’t speak Welsh until being cast as Faith. It’s also the first ever show both BBC and S4C have created together.
So where is Keeping Faith filmed?
Keeping Faith is filmed in Wales, predominantly around Laugharne – a town on the south coast of Carmarthenshire famous for once being poet Dylan Thomas’ home. Overlooking the estuary, Dylan lived in a boathouse with his family from 1949 to 1953. The Boathouse is now a museum, while near the main house is a cliff-top garage known as his writing shed. You can peer through the window to see his desk and writing materials, as if Dylan himself has just popped out and will return to write a poem at any minute.
In the drama, Faith’s house also overlooks the estuary, and its open plan, multi-windowed style is reminiscent of those seen in Scandi crime dramas such as The Bridge. There are multiple scenes depicting Faith and her friend Lisa - played by Catherine Ayers – having wine and discussions in the garden, alongside the enviable view. The house actually belongs to local couple Eynon and Mary Hughes who have lived there for 30 years. Approached by the show’s location scout, they lend the exterior of their home to Keeping Faith, while the interior that we see is in a Bridgend studio.
Would you like to drink a glass of wine overlooking the Laugharne Estuary? Try Brown's Hotel, where Dylan Thomas spent many pounds and afternoons drinking, writing and reading the papers. Since his time, it has been restored to a subtly glamorous boutique hotel, where you can stay, eat or drink and soak up the literary history.
What about the beach shots?
These were taken at Pendine beach. The village and community is situated on the northern shore of Carmarthen Bay and bordered by the communities of Eglwyscummin and Llanddowror. Blue Flag rated, expect dramatic cliffs, wild cliff top paths and lots of rock pools. There’s a popular holiday park called Pendine Sands just minutes away from the beach.
Barry Yacht Club, Nash Point and Porthkerry Caravan Park also appear. Each of these spots is a lovely part of the Welsh coastline. Jackson’s Bay in Barry is an ideal cove for stand up paddle boarding, and you can walk to the next bay for ice cream or chips. Nash Point’s lighthouse, and the nearby Llantwit Major beach are totally Instagram-worthy, while Porthkerry has a beautiful country park. You could even take in a big chunk of the Wales Coastal Path and join all these points together.
Where are buildings that are filmed?
Some of the buildings featured are in Carmarthen, and the Keeping Faith production team also went further afield. The court scenes were filmed in Carmarthen town’s Guildhall, as well as the Guildhall in the nearby city of Swansea. The high street and terraced houses included are in Laugharne.
The police station that we see in the show’s fictional town of Abercorran is actually a station in Pontardawe, in the Swansea Valley.
As told to RadioTimes.com, from the very beginning, director Pip Broughton and screenwriter Matthew Hall knew exactly where the story had to be set. Pip Broughton says the location is “very, very beautiful, and lyrical, but a place where dark things lurk.”
Keeping Faith is receiving great acclaim. A second series aired in July 2019 and a third has been commissioned, so you can expect a further helping of intrigue and Welsh coastline on your screens soon.